When finding a tenant for your property, there are plenty of details to consider. The first step to a successful screening is to prepare a Residential Rental Application.
You would include all of the questions that can help you identify the most promising tenant in your Residential Rental Application. You can also ask for the applicant's consent to run a background check and make an inquiry to the credit bureaus for their credit scores.
A Residential Rental Application should not contain irrelevant or inappropriate questions. The goal is to have a document unobjectionable to both sides to serve as the starting point of a fruitful landlord-tenant relationship.
A Residential Rental Application is a document in the form of a questionnaire. Landlords and property managers use this to collect the data from prospective tenants. Rental applications are used for all types of rental properties, including apartments, houses, and vacation homes. The purpose of this document is to protect your income and property by selecting a tenant who is most likely to pay rent regularly and take proper care of the property.
Keep in mind that a Residential Rental Application is not a contract. If a prospective tenant completes an application, it does not mean they must rent your property, or you must rent to them.
Depending on your state, a Residential Rental Application may also be known as:
Tenant Rental Application
Rental Lease Application
All property owners and managers looking to lease a living space could use a Residential Rental Application. Typical users can range from the management of apartment complexes to owners of a single apartment or house.
Conversely, prospective tenants should not hesitate to complete a Residential Rental Application if required, as long as the questions follow the best practice.
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A proper Residential Rental Application should contain all the right questions to evaluate a large number of applicants. At the same time, it omits inappropriate questions that may cause a potential tenant to feel uncomfortable or even violate federal or local laws.
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To create your document, please provide:
Location: The address of the property
Terms of lease: The duration and payment amount of the lease
Security deposit: The amount you expect to receive as a deposit against uncollectible rent and property damage
Name and contact: The applicant's full name, current address, telephone number, and email
Other occupants: Names and contacts of all other individuals, apart from the applicant, who will be staying at the property
Residential rental history: The applicant's rental history, including the info of the previous landlords
Employment history: The applicant's employment, including current and past employers and positions
Pet info: The applicant's pet ownership, including the number and types of pets, if any
Vehicles: The types of vehicles that the applicant owns and expects to park at the property
Landlord: The rightful owner of the rental property
Tenant: An individual who pays rent to occupy and use another person or entity's property, in this case, the landlord
Rent: The amount of money the tenant is required to pay to the landlord according to a schedule (e.g., monthly) to retain the right to use the property
Cotenant: The second or additional tenant of a property
Credit history: An individual's history of credit usage as recorded at a credit bureau
Only the applicant has to sign the Residential Rental Application. The signature can be optional but required if you need the applicant's consent to run credit checks. However, it is not a contract and cannot be a substitute for the lease agreement.
Gather all your completed Residential Rental Applications and use them to find the most suitable tenant for your property. If your chosen candidate agrees, the next step is to collect the first month's rent and security deposit and enter into a residential lease agreement. This is usually followed by the turnover of keys and a rental inspection checklist.
No. Property owners can rent to tenants who have not completed an application. However, it is recommended to use such an application if you plan on doing your due diligence about the prospective tenant first, including obtaining permission to inquire into their credit history.
Yes. Property owners can reject any potential tenant for any lawful reasons, which include not completing a rental application.
No. A prospective tenant can change their mind as a Residential Rental Application is not a legally-binding document.
No, a landlord cannot compel anyone to provide their social security number, and they can run a credit check without it. However, a landlord is still allowed to reject the rental application of someone who refused to provide the social security number.
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